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With the proliferation of journal titles and frequent email solicitations for manuscripts, it can be challenging for authors to determine whether a journal is reputable.
Many tools exist for identifying suitable journals where you can submit your manuscript. See, for example, the Nuts & Bolts of Scholarly Publishing and the HSL Writer's Guide.
When evaluating journals, consider the following:
|Avoid journals with traits identified by Shamsheer et al. (BMC Medicine 2017) or described by the World Association of Medical Editors.
Review the Think.Check.Submit. checklist for ways to identify trusted journals.
Look up the journal in Ulrich's Serials Directory.
|For open access journals, see if it's included in the Directory of Open Access Journals.|
|See if the publisher is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) or if they follow the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations.|
If you want to publish in a journal that is fully indexed in PubMed, search for the journal title in the National Library of Medicine (NLM) catalog.
|Contact a librarian for assistance.|
Predatory or disreputable journals can be defined as journals that "do not follow best publication practices." For example:
We recommend using the strategies above (or contacting a librarian) to evaluate a journal or publisher.
There have been attempts to create lists of publishers to avoid - including what was known as Beall's list (now defunct). If you use one of the following lists, please keep in mind that publishers might change their policies and that evaluators of publishers might have biases.
Journal impact factors are quantitative measures used to rank journals within a field.
The Journal Impact Factor guide explains well-known journal impact metrics (e.g., JCR's Journal Impact Factor, Eigenfactor score, and SCImago Journal Rank) and how to use them.
NIH announcement (Nov. 3, 2017)